ROMAN ABRAMOVICH has ended his plans of selling Chelsea after Frank Lampard’s young side reinvigorated his love for the team.
Potential investors in the 3billion-valued club have gone quiet and new reports suggest the Russian oligarch is happy to stay put for now.
Difficult negotiations with a Middle Eastern consortium and Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, saw the price dropped to 2.5bn as Abramovich considered his future with the west London club.
The 53-year-old last year took Israeli citizenship after his UK visa was withdrawn.
Following the collapse in Anglo-Russian diplomatic relations after the Salisbury poisonings, he was one of many oligarchs subject to more intense Foreign Office scrutiny regarding the nature of his wealth.
But that hurdle, combined with fears over the UK economy and Brexit, are no longer holding back Abramovich’s support for Chelsea.
According to The Telegraph, the Blues owner is excited by having a young team that plays good football and doesn’t cost a fortune to run.
New manager Lampard is the first of the Abramovich era to give academy players a true chance in the Premier League.
Tammy Abraham is among the division’s top scorers while Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Reece James have also impressed.
One of the key sticking points in selling Chelsea was the planned redevelopment of Stamford Bridge.
Abramovich had previously tried to buy Battersea Power Station in a bid to move the team’s home before revealing plans for a mega rebuild in 2015.
Such a project is now thought to total 1.2bn and will encounter the independent Chelsea Pitch Owners PLC who officially own the freehold of Stamford Bridge as well as the naming rights.
It is said the CPO have never enjoyed such a positive relationship with the current ownership as they have now but any prospective buyer sees their presence as a huge sticking point.
With Abramovich seemingly sticking around, there is greater optimism within the club that expansion plans are back on.
In bringing five Premier League titles, as many FA Cups and a Champions League to the Blues, Abramovich is thought to have spent around 1.8billion on building the squad.
However Lampard’s hands were tied this summer with the FIFA transfer ban that limited the incomings to pre-agreed deals for Christian Pulisic and Mateo Kovacic.
And yet, for now at least, the Russian is content with watching his side from afar – with no plans of stepping foot on British soil anytime soon.